Some of Wollongong's most passionate supporters of same-sex marriage roared in celebration when the YES vote prevailed on Wednesday morning.
The supporters who gathered at the University of Wollongong UniBar proudly waved the rainbow flag and hugged each other when the same sex marriage survey results were read out.
The sea of colour and unbridled happiness expressed by those in the crowd was also marked by a tinge of relief.
Read more: After a resounding yes, what happens next
With tears of happiness streaming down his face, UOW student Josh Bell said ''today means we've taken the first step to making sure myself and people like me are treated equal.
Illawarra MP Stephen Jones said he was confident same-sex marriage will be legal by Christmas, saying the resounding 61.6 per cent national Yes vote will give more parliamentarians “courage” to pass the law.
“It’ll get up,” he said.
“[Malcolm Turnbull] will want it to get up, and all the people who have been strongly against this have had high Yes votes in their electorates,” he said.
“Tony Abbott had one of the highest Yes votes in NSW – 75 per cent.”
“This means people like Ann Sudmalis will vote Yes – and I suspect she wanted to anyway – but it gives them to courage to do so.”
“Some won’t be swayed, but with Labor’s votes, I think it will get up.”
In Canberra, the Illawarra's own Matildas star and passionate Yes campaign advocate Michelle Heyman declared "love always wins and love always will".
Heyman, who was voted the LGBTI Sports Personality of the Year in March, celebrated the announcement at an event in Canberra.
"It’s nice to finally be equal," she said.
The former Shellharbour junior said she was not at all surprised to see a strong "Yes" vote in the Illawarra.
"I am over the moon for the Illawarra and I had no doubt the Illawarra would be behind the campaign," Heyman said
"Personally, growing up there, I've never had any issues or bullying. It's always been a very safe environment for what I’ve seen and be through. Today is a great day."
- with Julian O’Brien